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SFrench Cuirassiers

Ratch

3736 posts


Community Moderator

A comparison of Esci set 235 and Airfix 01736

These sets are almost 20 years apart with the Airfix cuirassiers first issued in 1969 and the Esci in 1987, so even the Esci one is 30 years old and better sets than both now exist. With over 4,000 French cuirassiers taking the field of Waterloo (more than a quarter of the total French cavalry), it is not surprising that these were the chosen subject for these manufacturers. They were the shock troops of their day, used to smash through any weaknesses in the enemy line and wreak havoc to claim victory. At the time of their release, the Esci set were award winners, and they do have some good features. The poses of the horses in the Esci set are not great and the Airfix horses are more realistically posed though they are very basic, hardly resembling the cuirassier horse furniture. They lack some of the saddle furniture so nicely portrayed on the Esci horses (like the portmanteau and shabraque). Both sets bear only a passing resemblance to the harness used, and neither have reins. The Esci horses also have ejector pin marks on their hind quarters; these are very unsightly and difficult to remove. Some of the Airfix horses had these marks, but not so prominently. Something that lets the Airfix horses down is the way they’re mounded on their bases. Their spindly legs and pegs make a precarious joint. Esci use the same peg and hole joint, but theirs is more substantial.

Esci

 

Airfix

Both sets contain a standing figure and horse, which may not be ideal for wargamers, but do come in useful for those making dioramas. The standing horse might also be utilised with the Italeri Carabinier who is firing his carbine but does not have a mount. My standing figures are AWOL.

 

Airfix

 

Esci

 

Turning to the men, the poses of the Esci set are somewhat unimaginative and tame. They are properly equipped whereas the Airfix men are somewhat simplified lacking belts, scabbards, ammunition pouches and musketoons. A problem with both sets is the horsehair mane. The Esci set are equipped with plumes although these were usually removed before going into battle; one feature the Airfix figures got right. The Esci men fit well on their mounts, almost gripping with their thighs, whereas the Airfix men are quite slack by comparison. I fix the men to their mounts permanently using Superglue gel. The Esci swords are a bit short. The Airfix men are a bit too short for the regulation 1.73m requirement. The man squatting by his fallen horse in the Airfix set is an inspired choice. Cavalry suffered casualties too and it’s good that these are reflected. Another good figure in the Airfix set is the man with the eagle. This would normally carry a flag, but it has not been moulded. This isn’t a problem as the flag might easily have been lost or damaged in battle. I added a paper flag to the standard for variation.

Airfix

 

Esci

 

Being nearly fifty years old now, the Airfix set are showing their age somewhat. The lack of detail does not stand up well in the current times and they are in need of updating to modern standards. There’s not much wrong with Airfix’s choice of poses, its just the lack of detail. They are at best passable as cuirassiers, but are probably best hidden in the ranks of better figures. The Esci set are definitely heavy cavalry and a decent component for French Napoleonic Armies.

Owner of the Airfix Tribute Forum https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/airfixtributeforum/index.php

Ratch

3736 posts


Community Moderator

I'm currently painting a 1/32 Curassier

Owner of the Airfix Tribute Forum https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/airfixtributeforum/index.php

Ratch

3736 posts


Community Moderator

Owner of the Airfix Tribute Forum https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/airfixtributeforum/index.php

Ratch

3736 posts


Community Moderator

Owner of the Airfix Tribute Forum https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/airfixtributeforum/index.php

Ratch

3736 posts


Community Moderator

Owner of the Airfix Tribute Forum https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/airfixtributeforum/index.php

Ratch

3736 posts


Community Moderator

Owner of the Airfix Tribute Forum https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/airfixtributeforum/index.php

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